Carneros is the only wine appellation to span both Sonoma and Napa counties. Influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean and a combination of summer fog, warm days, and a long growing season, the Carneros wine region is an independent American Viticultural Area (AVA). Carneros became an official AVA in 1983, its unique characteristics based on climate and on its geographic features – the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Mountain Ranges and the San Francisco Bay – that affect the region’s terroir and put a distinctive stamp on its grapes. Because of the climate and terroir, Carneros produces some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes in the world. The name Carneros itself – Spanish for sheep – is a prime example, referring to the many sheep ranches that dotted its hills.